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SU’s Hunt controls destiny at QB spot

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SYRACUSE — The Terrel Hunt era begins today for the Syracuse University football team.

First-year coach Scott Shafer confirmed early this week that the sophomore Hunt will replace senior Drew Allen as the starting quarterback for today’s 12:30 p.m. game against Tulane (2-1) in the Carrier Dome.

SU is a 14-point favorite against the Green Wave of Conference USA. The game will be televised on MSG Plus.

“It was overwhelming but I was ready for this moment. I knew it would come,” Hunt said during an interview for the SU Athletics Web site.

Hunt, who will make his first career start, earned the job by vastly outperforming Allen in last Saturday’s 54-0 victory against FCS foe Wagner.

“Terrel will start the game, and then we will react to how things are going,” Shafer said during his weekly conference call.

“And like most positions, I compare it to most positions being the same. If the production is good, then you keep going with it, and if it’s not what you need, that’s when you start to consider things. I want him to feel comfortable with going out and playing free-flowing, and I want Drew to be prepared to go in when his number is called.”

Entering last Saturday’s game, Shafer laid out a clear plan for the quarterback position. Allen would start as he did in the first two games, then Hunt would come in around the fourth series.

Shafer stuck to that plan. And after three straight three-and-outs under Allen, the SU offense rattled off eight straight scoring drives with Hunt. He finished the game 15 for 18 for 265 yards and three touchdowns.

Shafer said he has not made any set plans for Allen to see time today.

“Last week we scripted it in that we wanted to get Terrel in early, you know, third, fourth, fifth series, whatever it was going to be,” Shafer said. “And then this week, it will be: See how Terrel is playing and adjust to the elements as we go and make sure you’re ready to go in.”

Allen beat out Hunt in a preseason camp battle, but threw six interceptions to just one touchdown in season-opening losses to Penn State and No. 18 Northwestern.

During his team press conference this week, Tulane coach Curtis Johnson said his defense has been preparing to see both SU quarterbacks.

“Yes, they’re making a change, but both of those guys are good players,” Johnson said. “Both of them are big. Both of them are physical. Both of them can run. This guy they’ve got now, he can run maybe a little bit better. We’re going to see both of them and I think both of them are good players.”

Today will serve as more of a true barometer of Hunt’s ability to lead the offense against a fellow FBS team in Tulane.

The Green Wave won its conference opener, 24-15, over Louisiana Tech last Thursday and is tied for second in the nation with seven interceptions.

SU’s leading receiver Ashton Broyld declined comment on the Hunt-Allen debate, but said that today is a test for the entire offense, which struggled to find any rhythm in its first two games, both losses.

“If it doesn’t click against an opponent like Wagner, no disrespect to Wagner, they came in and they played hard and gave us their best shot,” Broyld said. “But we’re a (FBS) program and we did what we were supposed to do to them. That helps us and reassures us that we do have it, but now we have to go do it against Tulane.”

Foster says he took cash

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster says in an upcoming documentary he accepted money his senior year at Tennessee.

“Honestly, I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation, but my senior year I was getting money on the side,” Foster says in the EPIX documentary. “I really didn’t have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling, like, `Man, be careful,’ but there’s nothing wrong with it. You’re not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it.”

Sports Illustrated first reported Foster’s comments in the documentary, “Schooled: The Price of College Sports.”

Foster, who played for the Volunteers from 2005-08, expanded on his comments Friday after the Texans’ practice.

“I feel very strong about the injustice the NCAA has been doing for years,” Foster said. That’s why I said what I said. I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus or anything like that. ... I feel like I shouldn’t have to run from the NCAA anymore. They’re like these big bullies. I’m not scared of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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